Robert Barbatus

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Robert Barbatus was the famous traitor Earl. Some time in the 13th century an alliance was forming between the Kings of Scotland and of France, certain disaffected Fairies, and some Higher Personages (as Demons, Angels and so forth) with the intent of making a head against John Uskglass. All kings must expect such machinations among foreign rivals: they are usual, and the King was but little disturbed by this one at first - until he learned by some mysterious means that one of his own liegemen was among the plotters. Now, anything in the nature of treachery was abhorrent to the King, and his wrath on this occasion knew no bounds. His suspicion fell at once upon the likeliest culprit, Robert Barbatus, the scheming and subtle Earl of Wharfdale, who for his cunning had the by-name among his contemporaries of 'The Fox.' Unhappily the King vented his rage against the sire by the shameful re-animation and mistreatment of Wharfdale's eldest son, Henry Barbatus, who had but recently died. In order to learn what he knew of his father's plots the King restored this poor young man to life (after a fashion) and then used him most cruelly; and as Henry before his death had been a fine and chivalrous person this ignoble abuse of him caused great shock even among the King's most ardent friends.

This episode remains to this day a blot upon Uskglass' good name. It should be remembered in mitigation however that at the time the King had somehow got onto bad terms with Zadkiel, the angel of mercy, and this no doubt affected his behaviour in unusual ways[31].

In the matter of the Seventeen Dead Neapolitans, Jonathan Strange was able to partly re-discover the magic the Raven King used in raising Henry Barbatus from the dead. But he soon had good reason to regret the experiment.